EAGLES SOAR, HAWKS GROUNDED

SH baseball looks flat, plays flat in 5-inning loss

South Hamilton second baseman Mateo Balderas (27) whips the ball to first to complete the 6-4-3 double play as Saydel’s Garrett Shinn (2) watches after sliding on Friday in Des Moines. Saydel knocked off the Hawks, 14-1 in 5 innings. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

DES MOINES — Strapped to a lie detector test, each and every member of the South Hamilton baseball team would’ve been forced to admit they really didn’t want to load up on a bus for a make-up game Friday evening.

With the postseason — a Class 2A district quarterfinal against Hampton-Dumont — less than 24 hours away, a rescheduled and then rescheduled again meeting with Heart of Iowa Conference foe Saydel really didn’t appeal to the Hawks. Throw in the fact that the game was supposed to be held in Jewell and you can start to see why the players weren’t enthused.

“We weren’t sharp and we didn’t play well,” South Hamilton head coach Kyle Galetich said after his team was tagged by Saydel, 14-1 in five innings. “I’m not going to make excuses, but it was hard on them having to come play knowing we have another game (on Saturday). It was going to be Thursday and then it got switched, and then it got switched where, and then the time got switched, so it was chaos from the beginning.”

With the Eagles (19-9, 10-3 HOIC) still in contention for the Heart of Iowa Conference title, the game had to be made up. And while Saydel soared, the Hawks fell flat.

“You’re never as good as you think you are and you’re never as bad as you think you are, and we’re somewhere in the middle,” Galetich said. “In my mind, we flush this and move on knowing it was one of those things we had to do.”

South Hamilton first baseman Cade Balvanz (35) stretches for a throw from across the diamond as Saydel’s Austin Pyles beats out an infield hit on Friday in Des Moines. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

The game originally began back on June 18 at the Mike Penning Athletic Complex, but was suspended in the top of the first inning because of rain.

Saydel, which led 2-0 with just one out when the game resumed, lashed 15 hits and took advantage of five South Hamilton (8-13, 3-10 HOIC) errors to score in bunches. Playing as the visiting team on their home diamond, the Eagles put up multiple runs in four of their five at bats and put the game out of reach with a six-spot in the fourth.

Craig Garrison put together a 3 for 3 day with a triple, two RBIs and four runs scored for Saydel. Starting pitcher Cal Gebhart helped his own cause with a 3 for 4 performance at that plate that included three RBIs. Austin Pyles also went 3 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Garrison’s RBI triple to deep right field was part of the six-run flurry in the fourth. Ten straight Eagles reached base and Pyles plated two runs with a base hit to right.

Zeke Balderas started the game on the bump for the Hawks last month and suffered the loss, but he moved to catcher on Friday. Garrett Grady took over and went 32⁄3 innings. DJ Klonglan and Cole Berg took care of the fifth inning.

South Hamilton’s Quinton Grove gets jammed with a pitch during Friday’s game against Saydel in Des Moines. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

South Hamilton had its chances to make it a game early on, but came up empty when runners were on base. It left two aboard in the first inning and then loaded the bases in the second, but the timely hit never came to fruition.

“When we didn’t cash in on those opportunities, we started hanging our heads a little bit and started doubting ourselves,” Galetich said. “It’s a completely different game if we get that hit (in the second inning). It’s 3-2 if we get that hit, but at times this year we’ve struggled with runners in scoring position.”

Gebhart found his groove after the second-inning scare and retired seven of the next eight batters he faced. He allowed six hits, all singles, and struck out two.

South Hamilton avoided the shutout in the last half of the fifth with three of its base hits. DJ Klonglan and Sam Lewis opened the frame with back-to-back singles to right and three batters later Mateo Balderas lined a shot into left that brought Lewis to the dish.

Lewis went 2 for 3 in the contest. Zeke Balderas and Cole Berg added base hits.

DJ Klonglan (22) winces after being plunked in the back with a pitch during South Hamilton’s 14-1 loss to Saydel on Friday. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Earlier on Friday, Saydel throttled Roland-Story, 9-0.

Saydel 14, S. Hamilton 1 (5)

Friday at Des Moines

Saydel 302 63 — 14 15 0

S. Ham 000 01 — 1 6 5

South Hamilton catcher Zeke Balderas fires the ball to second and throws out Saydel’s TJ Stephenson during the fourth inning on Friday in Des Moines. DFJ photo/Troy Banning

Cal Gebhart and Skyler Cardenas. Zeke Balderas, Garrett Grady (1), DJ Klonglan (5), Cole Berg (5) and CJ Hewitt, Z. Balderas (1). W — Gebhart. L — Z. Balderas. 3B — SAY: Craig Garrison. Multiple hits — SAY: Garrison (3), Gebhart (3), Austin Pyles (3), Maxx Stanton; SH: Sam Lewis. RBI — SAY: Gebhart (3), Pyles (3), Garrison (2), Cardenas (2), Stanton, TJ Stephenson, Nathan Jaeger, Zach Bobenhouse; SH: Mateo Balderas.

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